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The Market Size of Ecommerce in South Korea

Do not be deceived by the size of the country. When it comes to Ecommerce, South Korea is indeed one of the largest in size and growth, and activities.

“Place of Opportunity”

What do people actually know about South Korea? That it is famous for K-POP, K-Food, K-Drama, and K-Beauty?

Luckily for South Korea, people around the globe are starting to give more attention to it, as its culture is becoming more popular nowadays. However, aside from some representative features listed above, it is still a place full of unknowns to many people (especially in business).

“South Korea should also be Popular for its Ecommerce”

So, let’s get down to some specific details about South Korea that might be useful to the number of people, especially for those who are planning to expand their business abroad: Ecommerce in South Korea

We all know that Ecommerce is growing at a rapid pace(Detail), thereby providing many opportunities for global sellers and businesses to thrive. That does not mean you can simply go sell anywhere though, right?

In fact, South Korea may be the right place of opportunity for companies and online sellers to expand their business into, considering all the data that could be found on & about its Ecommerce indicating that South Korea is a very promising market.

Market Size

“Good things come in small packages"

In terms of market size, South Korea is the fifth largest Ecommerce market in the world in revenue, 2021 (& 2022). This is very surprising considering that South Korea is a small country in size and population (of 51,610,695 in 2022) compared to huge countries like China and the United States with a massive population of over 1.4 billion and 330 million respectively.
It is not just about China and The U.S. Analyzing the data only focusing on the absolute and overwhelming values is critical as some key insights might go unnoticed.

Think of it this way.

  • 3 out of Top 5 biggest Ecommerce markets are in Asia: China, Japan, South Korea; taking account of over 60% of the global Ecommerce size.
  • South Korea is definitely second to none in its innovative digital payment systems, and is a highly tech-based country with almost everyone using smartphones. These two factors are really important in the growth of Ecommerce, obviously.

Reasons for its Growth

What is so special about South Korea, and what makes it one of the most active Ecommerce markets in the world? Well, the secret lies in the characteristics of the population. Even though its population may be relatively small in number, over 80% of the population has an urban lifestyle in cities like Seoul with high population density. This signifies that shipping and delivery of whatever they purchase online is convenient and quick, making people highly dependent on all the positive features that Ecommerce could provide.

Also, notice (from the graph above) how South Korea is placed 2nd in rank of all those countries in retail Ecommerce sales shares. To explain why, refer to the fact that over 90% of the population has access to, uses, and are familiar with Internet and digital devices.

No wonder there are so many Ecommerce transactions in this country, right?

Will it continue to grow?

Certainly. One of the side-effects of the advent of Covid 19 was that people began purchasing products that they would normally buy offline. Basically, Covid 19 functioned as a catalyst to boost online shopping, and studies show that this trend will not end. According to Global Data, Ecommerce in South Korea will continue to grow, and by 2025, its value will be more than double the amount it is in 2021

Now What?

Just because we have checked how good the Korean Ecommerce market is, it does not necessarily mean that one could simply dive into it right away. Right, we don’t know any other information about South Korea just yet! It is always a huge obstacle for people to enter into foreign countries in business because it is so difficult to get credible information, requires too much energy for getting the right experience, and above all, is very risky. This is why this post is made. With the advent of this article, let’s break down all the specific and crucial information that one must know before entering South Korea markets. The more we know, the more confident we get, and this will definitely help in succeeding in entering Korean markets.

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